17 September 2009

THE least-heard marriage truth (classic post re-posted)

by Dan Phillips

[Today's classic re-post doesn't come from PyroManiacs. It actually is the first post I ever put up at my own blog, back in November of 2004. Real PyroManiacs historians (?) may recognize that the central idea later became this Pyro post.]


I've read a number of books, Christian and non-, on marriage. I've heard a number of the radio "experts," real and supposed. I've heard a sermon or two on marriage. But there's one truth I think I've only seen alluded to in one place, and that was in C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. (Even that was in a connection other than the one I'm about to develop.)

But this truth leaps out at one from Bible verse after Bible verse. You'd think it'd be the first thing Christian marriage counselors would talk about. Yet, as far as I know, it never even comes up. I certainly never recall reading it in Christian counseling manuals.

What is it? I'll give you a few hints:
If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. (Numbers 30:2)

"If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. 22But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. 23You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth." (Deuteronomy 23:21-23)
I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. (Psalm 56:12)

For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. (Psalm 61:4)

So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day (Psalm 61:8)

Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared (Psalm 76:11)
It is a snare to say rashly, "It is holy," and to reflect only after making vows. (Proverbs 20:25)

It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5:5)
To that large (but not exhaustive) list, we could add our Lord's words that our "yes" should mean "yes" (Matthew 5:33-37), as well as his half-brother's echoing of that same thought (James 5:12) -- plus all the verses about not lying. For what is it to swear and not fulfill, but to lie?

What does this have to do with marriage?

Well, marriage is by its nature a vow, an oath, a covenant (Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 2:17; Malachi 2:14). But in addition to that, at least in our culture, we usually take on ourselves oaths, vows, as part of the marriage ceremony. Remember the traditional ones:

Ths husband is asked, "WILT thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?" He promises, before God and everyone, that he will.

The wife is asked, "WILT thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?"

The husband promises his wife, before God and everyone, "I N. take thee N. to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth."

The wife promises her husband, before God and everyone, "I N. take thee N. to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I give thee my troth."

(Some might observe that many write their own vows today, rather than using these ones. In that case, if anything, the vows are all the more binding, unless they violate the Word of God.)

Note this about all those vows: not one of them is premised on the other's keeping his vows. In other words, it is not, "If you keep your promise, then I promise that I will...." The promises are unilateral, unconditional, and therefore binding as long as the marriage lasts.

All that to this simple observation: keep your vows. If you are not doing so, you are sinning, and must repent, find God's forgiveness -- and start keeping them.

Let me add this. Many are "counseling-happy" today. I'd suggest that anyone wanting marital counseling first take out his/her wedding vows, and ask himself before God, with brutal honesty, whether he/she has provided any legitimate basis for charging that he/she is failing to keep those vows. If the honest answer is "No," then counseling may be an option. If the answer is "Yes," then the only counseling he/she should seek is from his/her pastor, as to how to remedy this sin-pattern in his/her life.

And to Christian counselors, I would suggest this: what if you started with this? Start by meeting with each individual. Tell each to bring the wedding vows, for review. Go over them closely and Biblically. Deal with sin honestly and brutally.

Then see if there is still really any need for counseling.

UPDATE: I just read of a couple who is about to celebrate eighty years of married life. They don't claim to have a "secret" for a successful marriage. But the husband does offer this thought: "Just remember the promise you made when you got married," he says. Amen!

Dan Phillips's signature


52 comments:

olan strickland said...

Well, marriage is by its nature a vow, an oath, a covenant (Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 2:17; Malachi 2:14).

Amen Dan! And I would add to that least-heard marriage truth that marriage is an illustration of the great mystery of Christ and His bride, the church.

Chad V. said...

Since marriage is a picture of Christ's love for the church and since the church and Christ are indissolubly united by covenant, then how could the union of man and wife be anything less than an indissoluble union, and unbreakable covenant.

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. Matt 19:6

SandMan said...

All that to this simple observation: keep your vows. If you are not doing so, you are sinning, and must repent, find God's forgiveness -- and start keeping them.

Amen! So many lives are being destroyed because so few honor their own word anymore. (divorces, bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc).

I have only a few weeks shy of 7 years of marriage under my belt, and have failed repeatedly at being the husband I should be to my beautiful wife. However, I think that we have survived (by God's grace) because we decided early that we meant that only death could seperate us (and neither one of us look sick right now). :)
Every anniversary, we get alone and spend some time watching the wedding video. We laugh at how young and clueless we looked... but we always get somber when the vows are recited. It's been a healthy tradition for us.

Johnny Dialectic said...

"Vow" and "troth" used to mean something.

Daryl said...

I thought "troth" was what the pigth ate out of.

The best thing we can say to ourselves and to others who are wondering about staying married...

"You PROMISED!! I was THERE and I heard you promise!"

Sadly too many don't care.

Sadly, although divorce has never been on the horizon for us, still, when my wife needs a hand with something, all too often I don't remind myself that I promised.

Good word Dan.

The Blainemonster said...

Whoomp! There it is! Well said...truthfully said.

RichardS said...

While one does take a vow or an oath, I am not sure that is the essence or nature of marriage. The essence of marriage, I think according to Scripture, is that of oneness or unity. If a dutiful keeping of a vow is the real essence, this does not seem to be the picture of the unity of Christ and the Church. However, if because of the unity with Chris the vow is taken looking to the grace of God to keep the vow of love, that would be a different thing. No human being can keep any commandment of God apart from love and therefore apart from the grace of God in giving that love.

DJP said...

Your definition differs from Scripture's, so I'm unpersuaded. I'll stick with the latter.

Yes, we can do no good without God. He commands and enables (Romans 8:4-14; Philippians 2:12-13). We should seek his grace to obey, and obey.

stratagem said...

It strikes me that no matter what vows may have been used in a marriage ceremony, the terms of a marriage are defined by God alone, and therefore are exactly the same for every couple.

Two people may get married and use vows that are relatively non-committal and merely lovey-dovey. Of course, some marriage ceremonies, even Christian ones, don't even use vows, and there are no "vows" defined in Scripture. But none of that changes the terms of the covenant, expectations that are defined by the Lord throughout Scripture.

DJP said...

Agreed. Vows can't take away from or add to God's revealed definitions and expectations.

Raymond Nearhood II said...

Amen to this!

I've been in a number of back and forths where I've said the same thing.

"Well," says they, "they got a divorce because of [insert one of hundreds of things]. They couldn't stay together when [one of them] did [one or more of these things]."

"Nonsense," says I, "that's just an excuse to cloud the reason. The reason is because one or both forgot how to keep a promise and have no sense of commitment nor honor. Plain and simple. It always boils done to that."

ezekiel said...

"Note this about all those vows: not one of them is premised on the other's keeping his vows. In other words, it is not, "If you keep your promise, then I promise that I will...." The promises are unilateral, unconditional, and therefore binding as long as the marriage lasts."

This little/large truth would have saved a lot of heart ache, disappointment, anger and bitterness had I understood it quite a few years ago.

RichardS,

"If a dutiful keeping of a vow is the real essence, this does not seem to be the picture of the unity of Christ and the Church."

I sure hope it is the picture. I hope that He is faithful and that He will perform His vow.
Jer 31:33

If we start painting a different picture, one that has me being in unity based on me keeping my vow then all hope is lost. I would then be relying on my works rather than His. If it conditional, I will if you will, then it is Old Covenant and none of the new.

RichardS said...

I am not sure how the idea of marriage being oneness is not Scripture.

Matthew 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Mark 10:9 "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Romans 7:2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Eph 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

In marriage the two become one flesh which refers to a unity which pictures the marriage of Christ and the Church. It is because of the one flesh that they take the vows.

The vow of God in the New Covenant is to be in His people and to be their life in keeping His law. The vow of God is that His people will share in His life which is Christ in them which is eternal life. When a man is united to Christ, that person is one with Christ and so will make vows to Christ. When Christ unites a man and woman togethe in marriage, they take vows recognizing that it is Christ who must keep the vows in them. This is grace alone.

Tom Chantry said...

A bit of good discussion so far, but much of it focuses on the fact that when we marry, we vow to stay married. Sadly that must be said today, but if I read the OP properly, it points out that how we live within our marriage is also defined by our vow. The husband vows to "love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health" while the wife vows to "obey him, and serve him, love, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health." Yes, they also each vow "forsaking all others, to keep only unto him/her," but much of the trouble that arises in marriage is the result of our failure to do the other stuff in the vow.

If both husband and wife would do all those other things, they would inevitably have a sound marriage. It is failure to do this which weakens marriages. Or put another way, sin weakens marriage.

(Note to Chad: Meditate on your vows - and then keep them. There, now I've given you your premarital pep-talk!)

John said...

Great post. And I might add that for most true believers the "till death do us part" is not the part of the vow they struggle with! Usually is the "love, honor" part...

ezekiel said...

I am not suggesting that oneness or unity isn't the idea of marriage.

"If a dutiful keeping of a vow is the real essence, this does not seem to be the picture of the unity of Christ and the Church."

I am saying though that the picture of unity of Christ and His church IS the dutiful keeping of a vow. His.

You appear to agree in your last comment.

"This is grace alone."

DJP said...

RichardS - from the material given in the post, that's where I get it.

Tom C — does OP = Original Post? If so, you're exactly right. My emphasis is not "Don't get divorced." My emphasis is, "When you got married, you promised to do and eschew certain things. Well, do them, and eschew them. You promised."

Chad V. said...
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Chad V. said...
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Chad V. said...

Richard S

No one is disputing that marriage makes man and wife one flesh.

You seem to be saying that duty does not enter into the marriage covenant and that duty has no place in the union of Christ's love for the church.

Look at it this way. Considering that marriage makes man and wife one and this is the work of God, failure to perform your duty in the marriage violates that oneness. If a man cheats on his wife he breaks the marriage covenant. His duty is to be faithful to his wife, to forsake all others etc. This duty must be preformed actively and deliberately.

Sir Brass said...

My mother told me that the priest who married her and my father told them both that it was the marriage vows that would keep the marriage together. IE (what this works out to), the binding nature of the vows to God is what restrains one from straying from the marriage if one takes those vows seriously.

And to think that this was a not-very-orthodox (at all!) Episcopal priest who told them this!

My parents celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary this past July and there is no sign of their marriage waning.

That's a testimony to the power of solemn vows made before the Lord.

Tom Chantry said...

Yes: OP = Original Post. Except where OP = Orthodox Presbyterian. But they would agree, too.

Chad V. said...

Pep talk; Cool!

Aric said...

Great post. Kind of challenges our selfish sin-natures to have to look at how we're doing with the vow keeping . . . rather than whine about how easy it would be if only our spouse would keep her vows first.

Well, it challenges me, guess I should speak for y'all.

RichardS said...

Chad V said (to RichardS):

"You seem to be saying that duty does not enter into the marriage covenant and that duty has no place in the union of Christ's love for the church."

RichardS: I think what I am trying to say is that a mere external duty is not enough. Perhaps another way to put it would be to say a mere dutiful keeping of a vow is not keeping a vow. The issue at hand, as far as what I am trying to drive at, is that the internal union precedes the vow in terms of importance. It is the difference between going to church out of duty and going to church out of love. If a person vows to attend church when one joins and then that person keeps the vow by attending on a regular basis, that is duty but is not love.

I can also say, speaking from my own heart, that living in love is not the same thing as living according to an external duty. I can do many things out of a sense of duty to my wife and vice versa, but apart from love the duty is not all that acceptable. Apart from the union of souls and the flow of true love, the duty can be simply a dry external duty. Jesus said that if we loved Him we would keep His commands and not if we keept His commands then that is loving Him.

A man that is truly faithful to his wife is not one that just does not run around, but one whose heart is faithful as well. I simply don't see how that can be done apart from a union of soul with Christ and the spouse. All the commandments of God, and that includes the marriage vow, cannot be kept apart from love to Him first and then from that to the spouse. As Scougal said, true Christianity is the life of God in the soul. So true marriage is the life of God in the souls of those married which then unites them in love for Him which is expressed in love for each other.

stratagem said...

Oh gee. Someone made me feel real old by citing a 29-year marriage, making me realize it's been 26 going on 27 for me. OUCH!

Tom Chantry said...

RichardS

Dan’s encouragement of married persons to consider their vows and act upon them does not negate what you say about internal union. It is true that there is more to marriage than external duty, just as there is more to loving God than external duty. However, external duty has its place.

A critical distinction is often ignored in the discussion of sanctification, and marriage illustrates it well.

This is the distinction between the how and the why. We serve God because we love Him, and we love Him because He first loved us. This is another way of saying that our whole interaction with God is based upon grace. But there is also a “how” to serving God. Christ says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Paul writes that love fulfills the law, for it does no wrong. Law cannot make us love God, but it teaches us how to live out our love.

If there is a how and a why to serving God, there is also a how and a why to marriage. I do not believe that Dan was suggesting that a healthy marriage is one in which a loveless husband grudgingly keeps his vows because he has to. What he is saying is that a husband who loves his wife will demonstrate his love by keeping those promises which he made. This is the “how” of being a loving husband rather than the “why.”

Mike Riccardi said...

Tom,

Extremely helpful comment. Extremely helpful. To me at least. Thanks for that.

RichardS said...

Tom Chantry said: "If there is a how and a why to serving God, there is also a how and a why to marriage. I do not believe that Dan was suggesting that a healthy marriage is one in which a loveless husband grudgingly keeps his vows because he has to. What he is saying is that a husband who loves his wife will demonstrate his love by keeping those promises which he made. This is the “how” of being a loving husband rather than the “why.”

RichardS: I would not argue that Dan does mean that, but I was responding to a comment about the essence of marriage. In other words, I was getting at what the root truth or as far as one can trace the meaning and reality of marriage down to. I am simply saying that I don't think that a vow is the root truth or the essence of marriage. Without denying the importance of vows, I just cannot see the Bible teaching that as the essence, core, or root truth of marriage.

Chad V. said...
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Zaphon said...

Great post. I posted this on my own little blogsite months ago cause I think it's just THAT good.

I can say this: absolutely true.

I have been through some rough waters in my own marriage at times. I'll admit to being unhappy to the point where I questioned the whole deal. THEN I remembered that God hates divorce and that I made a vow.

The tragedy of breaking my vow before God and the Church, and before the world, would stunt my witness as a believer in Christ.

This truth has literally kept me going and I can say that I love my wife in the LORD,and I am glad I did the right thing before God and stayed faithful and committed to my marriage in spite of hardships.

Conversely, the marriage vow is a source of joy because it is grounded in God. It's not this heavy burden that we just wear like an albatross. It's a an unconditional covenant made by God's grace and kept by his grace. It's a source of stability and peace, and an objective anchor that reminds us of God's enduring love and faithfulness to his people, and Christ to his less than perfect Bride. :-)

Chad V. said...

RichardS

Dan didn't say the essence of marriage was a vow, he said by it's nature it is a vow, a covenant.

Remember, by nature our salvation, our union with Christ is based on a covenant. By nature salvation is being in covenant with God through Christ. Without that covenant there can be no union to Christ. I think if you understand that then you'll understand why Dan says that marriage is by nature a covenant.

Strawberry said...

The promises are unilateral, unconditional, and therefore binding as long as the marriage lasts.
Did you want to clarify this for me? Did you mean: The promises are unilateral, unconditional, and therefore binding as long as the promise-maker is alive?

Stefan said...

My wife and I wed in a civil ceremony, when we were both non-believers. But it's an institution ordained by God and founded upon vows all the same, and I've been learning for 12 years (and still learning) what that entails.

DJP said...

Sure, Strawberry. No, I meant what I wrote as I wrote it. There are circumstances under which God permits divorce. After a divorce, obviously, the divorced wife (for instance) no longer owes her ex-husband submission, nor does the divorced husband (for instance) owe his ex-wife sex.

RichardS said...

Chad V said:

"Dan didn't say the essence of marriage was a vow, he said by it's nature it is a vow, a covenant."

RichardS: By saying "essence" I was trying to get at the essence of what it means to be something by nature.

Chad V said: "Remember, by nature our salvation, our union with Christ is based on a covenant. By nature salvation is being in covenant with God through Christ. Without that covenant there can be no union to Christ. I think if you understand that then you'll understand why Dan says that marriage is by nature a covenant."

RichardS: Indeed all of salvation is based on the Covenant of Grace and then the New Covenant. However, the New Covenant is God's actually dwelling in souls and uniting Himself to them in Christ. It is not a bare vow alone, it is His uniting Himself to sinners and His love dwelling in them. God is the One that makes the vow of the New Covenant and He is the One dwelling in them by His faithfulness to Himself. The very core of marriage is when God takes two people and makes them one. The vows reflect the oneness rather than the oneness reflecting the vows. Marriage vows are taken before God and reflect what He does in the marriage.

Gen 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Mat 19:3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" 4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH '? 6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Chad V. said...

RichardS

Absolutely no one is saying that it is a bare vow alone. It's not alluded to, it's not insisted upon, it's not even inferred.

I'm beginning to suspect that you're more interested in arguing for the sake of arguing than you are in understanding Dan's point. At any rate, I have no interest in arguing so I'm done.

RichardS said...

Chad V: Absolutely no one is saying that it is a bare vow alone. It's not alluded to, it's not insisted upon, it's not even inferred.

RichardS: I am not arguing that people are trying to make this point or think that this is the point. I am saying, however, that apart from a union of souls that is the logical and necessary conclusion.

Chad V: I'm beginning to suspect that you're more interested in arguing for the sake of arguing than you are in understanding Dan's point. At any rate, I have no interest in arguing so I'm done.

RichardS: I am not sure how you can infer that. I am not interesting in arguing for the sake of arguing at all. I am interested in getting across the vital point of the internal life of Christ in the soul and the fact that He is the one that unites souls.

Strawberry said...

OK Dan.. I guess we open up a can here :-) ... if the vow is before God with no conditions placed on the other person as you rightly pointed out... What is divorce that empowers it to dissolve that vow? ... (Looming in the background are questions regarding qualifications for eldership).

Is God's Genesis 15 covenant (which isn't dependant on Abra(ha)m) comparable to a marriage covenant? ... They are both conditionless, no?

It is not my real intention to open up this can, but I just thought it strange to read
marriage is by its nature a vow, an oath, a covenant and then read
The promises are unilateral, unconditional, and therefore binding as long as the marriage lasts.
If marriage is by its nature a promise, then how is the promise binding as long as the promise lasts? Maybe my logic circuits are way off but it sounds like you are saying "A is as long as A is".. which doesn't prove anything except a grasp of the obvious. Will someone smarter than me give me a hand? :-)

DJP said...

We are not going to open up that can. Marriage is not an unconditional covenant, according to the Bible. It is a bilateral, conditional covenant. I derive that from the fact that God Himself specifies a narrow range of circumstances under which it is permissible.

The promises I make are unilateral and unconditional for the duration of that covenant, which can only be broken by specific sins on the part of one of the parties. If I'm married, I'm bound by those promises.

And that is what the post is about. Would you like to discuss the post? Because we're done with the topic of divorce in this meta. You won't see any more comments here on that topic — either because commenters think how to be a godly spouse is a sufficiently absorbing topic, or because (if they don't) I will delete them.

Strawberry said...

Back to where I should have started, perhaps...

Thanks for a great post on a mostly (?) forgotten aspect of marriage... and exhortation to obey Scripture in keeping our marriage vows and their superset, viz. vows in general.

DJP said...

I sure find it plenty challenging! And I daresay that if each Christian took his/her vows with the kind of gravity Scripture calls for, we'd have far less occasion even to think about that other thingie we're not talking about.

(c;

Strawberry said...

Hearty agreement!

Respectabiggle said...

A related point was made on Touchstone's blog ; it's stuck with me for several years: Most marriages problems arise because of a failure of charity, not from a failure of romantic love.


Chad V. said...

RichardS

FIne, one last remark. You said; I am interested in getting across the vital point of the internal life of Christ in the soul and the fact that He is the one that unites souls.

See, that's why I said it seems like you just want to argue. The post isn't about that. That's your point not Dan's. The post that Dan wrote is about the fact that when you got married you took a vow, you entered into a covenant with your spouse in Christ and it's your duty to perform your vow.

I'm sure that if Dan were writing a book on marriage he would spend a good deal of time on the unity of the husband and wife in Christ and the theology behind that but this is a blog post, not a book and in such a format it's really only productive to discuss one specific aspect of a subject at a time. He's tried to bring up a perfectly valid and biblical point about marriage and how it's a kind of vow and how when two people marry they take a vow, they enter into covenant. That's what he's talking about. That's what the rest of us are talking about. That's the discussion we're having. At least we were having that discussion.

I've said all I have to say on Dan's point so I'll bow out now as I eagerly await the next post from him.

Anyway, great post Dan. it's good stuff for me to meditate on as I prepare for my upcoming nuptials.

DJP said...

Thanks, Chad.

RichardS said...

Chad V:
See, that's why I said it seems like you just want to argue. The post isn't about that. That's your point not Dan's. The post that Dan wrote is about the fact that when you got married you took a vow, you entered into a covenant with your spouse in Christ and it's your duty to perform your vow.

RichardS: I assume that when one makes remarks in a BLOG like this, one is wanting interaction. Dan made a statement in the original post about the nature of marriage. I was interacting with his statement. I didn't think it was even in a disagreeable way, but more in a conversational way. I still fail to see how I am just wanting to argue for the sake of arguing just because I made a point with biblical backing. I did not say that my point negated the importance of what he was saying in the rest of the post. I simply have no idea of where you are coming from since I am not arguing for the sake of arguing.

DJP said...

So, am I getting this right?

Chad V.: RichardS, I think you just like to argue, endlessly, for the same of arguing.

RichardS: Do not.

I think I see where this is going.

RichardS said...

DJP:
"So, am I getting this right?"

RichardS: Not in the slightest

DJP said...

OK. So you won't simply gainsay every response until this thread is finally closed?

Kirby L. Wallace said...

I have been blessed with a very godly wife, and for that I am very thankful. We have had our share of troubles and strife - as I suppose all have.

But to be perfectly honest, there have been times when the ONLY reason I have been faithful is not because I, at the last moment, mustered enough strength not to do what I wanted to do - but because, at the very last moment, I remembered that I had promised, "before God and these witnesses"...

There has been a time or two when all that stood before me making a grave error was just the remembrance of a vow.

DJP said...

Thanks for sharing that, Kirby; and I do not think that it is a superior spirituality that would despise such a thing.

Keeping vows doesn't make you spiritual; but a spiritual man keeps his vows.